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Financial Flash Newsletter

August 2014 Edition

Time for School Already!  

When August rolls around, families with children are faced with shopping for the new school year. If you are looking for ways to make the most of the money you spend, click here for Back-to-School Shopping Tips for 2014. 
 

Program Spotlight: Molly Coffey, Youth Financial Literacy Educator & Volunteer Coordinator 

In October 2013 Molly Coffey moved from our Counseling Department to become our first Youth Financial Literacy Educator & Volunteer Coordinator. Molly is responsible for development and implementation of comprehensive youth financial literacy programs for grades K-12 based on the NC Dept. of Education Core Curriculum. Under Molly's leadership our youth programs have grown to provide a variety of learning simulations, multi-part series and single-session classes on topics such as budgeting, saving and smart spending, money goal planning, and credit. Also, Molly has expanded our network of partner organizations including three WNC school systems and other youth groups (such as literacy programs, church groups, and service clubs).
Learn more about our Youth Financial Literacy programs.

College Foundation of NC: helping you plan, pay and apply to college

College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) is a FREE service of the State of North Carolina that provides resources and support to help students and their families plan, apply, and pay for college. Free resources include planning timelines/checklists, ACT/SAT/GRE practice tests, student profile activity logs, career assessments, financial literacy tools, the college 'common application,' virtual college tours, and information on NC's 529 savings plan, scholarships, grants, loans... and more! Click here to learn more about the College Foundation of NC or tune-in to the Money Matters podcast (details below).

Mark Your Calendars! 

2014 Women & Money Conference
Saturday October 25th 

9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
First Baptist Church of Asheville 
5 Oak St., Asheville, NC 28806 
More information to come!
 

Money Matters: ON-THE-AIR 

Here is the August program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings.
Podcasts are available here.

  
August 2nd: Celeste Collins, Show Host and OnTrack WNC Executive Director, shares 19 Tips for making your back-to-school shopping organized, frugal and efficient.

August 9th: Laura Misner, Regional Representative with College Foundation of NC, describes the free resources available through www.cfnc.org to help parents and students plan, apply and pay for college.

August 16th: Molly Coffey, Youth Financial Literacy & Volunteer Coordinator, discusses OnTrack WNC's programs for children from kindergarten through high school/college. Tune in to learn more about the dynamic programs and volunteer opportunities.

August 23rd: Sharon Oxendine, Executive Director of the NEW Women's Business Center; tune-in to hear more about this new community resource for loans and training for small business owners.

August 30th: Joe Farris, Licensed Inspector/Contractor with Farris Home Inspections, shares information and insights for homebuyers and homeowners on the topic Home Inspections - What you don't know about your house CAN hurt you!
 
Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.   

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July 2014 Edition

Make Financial Freedom Your Reality!  

In this month when we celebrate the United State's declaration of independence, why not declare your own personal financial independence? Getting started is as simple as scheduling a FREE appointment at OnTrack WNC! Our certified, professional financial/housing counselors can help YOU develop a spending plan, review your credit report, avoid foreclosure, become debt-free, learn how to buy your first home, evaluate your student loan debt and MORE

Don't wait any longer to begin your FINANCIAL FREEDOM journey!

Call us 828.255.5166 or 1.800.737.5485.

 

Is Your Debt Keeping You from Financial Freedom?  

People may mistakenly think they are responsibly managing debt by making the minimum payments due on time every month. They don't bother to calculate how long it will take them to become debt free, or how much they will have paid in interest.

For a reality check consider this example: With a $10,000 credit card debt at 18 percent interest, even if you never add any purchases or fees to the account, and you make a monthly on-time payment of two percent of the balance, it will take 48 years to become debt free, with total payments of $36,825, and $26,825 of that is interest!

Create a Plan for Getting Out of Debt 

 

DEBT: "Don't be afraid to look it in the eye." Victor Moore, Director of Counseling

Victor Moore joined the agency in 1998 and has been Director of Counseling since 2010. Prior to joining the agency, he spent 10 years in the consumer finance industry. As he saw people draining their home equity to consolidate unsecured debt or earning a good income but using high cost consumer finance loans, he realized the need for people to understand the consequences of their financial choices. His passion for helping people learn to manage their money and credit is apparent in his work with clients and his counseling team.

To people who are feeling overwhelmed by debt, Victor says,"Add up the debt you have. Break it up into categories: credit cards, student loans, car loans, mortgage... Don't be afraid to look it in the eye. Then, come up with a plan."

Learn more about developing a plan and OnTrack WNC's Debt Management Plan.

 

Money Matters: ON-THE-AIR 

In July our Money Matters radio show features experts with tips and insights to help you on the journey toward Financial Freedom. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings. Podcasts are available here.  

July 5th: Victor Moore, OnTrack WNC Director of Counseling gives a helpful overview of our counseling services and explains how the Debt Management Plan can be an effective tool for becoming debt-free.

July 12th: Christina Carter-Daugherty, OnTrack WNC Financial/Credit Counselor, describes three programs/services: counseling to develop a budget, the Sharpen Your Financial Focus online assessment tool www.mymoneycheckup.com and credit report review.  
  
July 19th: Leonard Poe, Attorney at Law with The Blue Ridge Bankruptcy Clinic discusses debt and financial topics that have legal ramifications, including your rights and responsibilities, what creditors can and cannot do in debt collection, divorce and credit, and the pros/cons of bankruptcy.

July 26th: Women's Financial Empowerment Center (WFEC) Coordinator, Tamara Lee, and WFEC Counselor/Educator, Hillary Holmes describe the unique, women-centered services which help clients move toward financial freedom!
 
Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.   

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June 2014 Edition

Is Homeownership in Your Future? 

For most people their home is their biggest purchase and, over time, can be a way to build wealth as your home value increases and you pay down your mortgage. The process of buying a home is complex and can be intimidating, especially for first-time home buyers. For an overview and great tips, check out OnTrack WNC's Steps in the Home Buying Process. [Click here for more]

OnTrack WNC's Homebuyer Education Expands to Hendersonville

In partnership with The Housing Assistance Corporation, in July we're offering our Homebuyer Education Series in Hendersonville. We are excited about building this program going forward and - most importantly - offering valuable homebuyer education to Henderson County residents. The four-part series will be held on Thursdays, July 10, 17, 24 & 31 from 6:00 - 9:00 pm.  Don't miss this great opportunity to gain knowledge and resources for realizing the dream of homeownership. Pre-registration is required by calling 828-255-5166.  $35 participant fee must be paid in advance. [See Class Flyer] 

Program Spotlight: Matched Savings for Homeownership

In 2006, OnTrack WNC's Homebuyer Education Program launched our specific focus on helping people build assets through homeownership. Since then our homeownership programs have grown to include vibrant matched savings programs with three employer-assisted housing programs: Mission Health, the Biltmore Company, the YWCA and our community-wide program called HomeRun. "We are proud of the growth and success of our Matched Savings Programs and hope to partner with businesses and organizations to expand the number of programs available in Western North Carolina," says Celeste Collins, OnTrack WNC Executive Director. Learn more here. 

Client Feature: Julian and Barbara Vaughan
Homeowners thanks to Biltmore®Passport to Property

In September 2012, after 41 years of marriage, Julian and Barbara Vaughan bought their first home! At the time Julian had been an employee at Biltmore for eleven years, full-time since 2005. He and Barbara had shopped for houses before but said they just didn't know what they were doing or even where to start to look for the information. When Passport to Property (BPP) began, they signed up right away. In less than a year after enrolling in BPP, they closed on their first home!

With gratitude, Julian said "The Biltmore Passport to Property Program education and the match money made it possible for me to purchase a home." Barbara added, "We felt like we went through the home buying process with OnTrack WNC holding one hand and Biltmore holding the other."

Learn more about the Vaughans' experience and how they're doing now.

Homeownership Programs Team

Jonathan Stansell, Homeownership Programs Manager, oversees the programs which support prospective homebuyers. Jonathan says "I work with an amazing team to provide quality homebuyer education so clients can navigate the complicated process of homeownership. I see myself as an ally to people who are figuring out how to live out their values, people who are doing the work to live the lives they want to live."

Regi Blackburn, Volunteer, gives his time, energy and enthusiasm to helping with the administrative side of our homeownership programs. When asked why he invests his volunteer time at OnTrack WNC, Regi says, "Many things stand out for me when I think about the OnTrack [WNC] family. However, the way that folks at OnTrack [WNC] treat their clients has always impressed me -- always with kindness and respect." 

Learn more about Jonathan and Regi here. 


Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR 

In June our Money Matters radio show features Homeownership Topics. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings. Podcasts are available here.  

June 7th: Thomas Witherspoon, the King of Frugality, gives a helpful overview and tips for navigating the home buying process.

June 14th: Randall Barnett, Buyers' Agent Realtor, shares tips for sellers and buyers when working with real estate professionals.

June 21st: Mortgage Loan Experts Jennifer Duvall, VP, Asheville Savings Bank, and Christine Dozier, VP, HomeTrust Bank, explain the process of shopping for the right home loan and factors lenders consider in qualifying borrowers for mortgages.

June 28th: Tabatha Hamlin, State Farm Agent, explains home insurance and shares tips for choosing the right insurance at an affordable price.

Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.  

Special thanks to our 2014 Homebuyer Education Sponsors!

Mosaic Realty Asheville Savings Bank Hometrust Bank MBA logo Randall Barnett and The Buyer's Agent

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May 2014 Edition

Women's Financial Empowerment Center Receives
Two-Year Grant at the Power of the Purse®!  

Power of the Purse 2014

  (Photo Courtesy of Michael Oppenheim Photography)

The Women for Women giving circle held its 10th Annual Power of the Purse® on May 20th with featured speakers Senator Olympia Snowe and former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers.  The program included the 2014 announcement of $210,000 in grants to nonprofits addressing economic security for women and girls in Western North Carolina. Great news: OnTrack WNC received a $75,000 two-year grant for our Women's Financial Empowerment Center, allowing us to continue programs for women and, additionally, to expand and provide youth financial literacy to girls!  For more on the 2014 Power of the Purse and to see other grant recipients click here. Want to learn more? Tune in to Money Matters from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m. on Saturday May 31st on WWNC 570AM when our guests will be Jennie Eblen and Carrie Keller members of the Women for Women giving circle.

We are grateful for this recent award and also the generous grants from the Sisters of Mercy Foundation of North Carolina and State Farm®which will ensure a strong future for the Women's Financial Empowerment Center!  Find out more about the Women's Financial Empowerment Center. 

Another Great Year for Free Tax Prep Program...

When April 15th rolled around we celebrated another successful year of our Free Tax Preparation Program with 765 tax returns completed for total federal and state refunds of $1,168,060. Since our service is free, our low-income tax clients save an estimated $153,000 in filing fees. This important work would not be possible without the dedication, time, and energy of our fabulous VOLUNTEER tax preparers and the sponsorships and grant support! Find out more here

2013 Annual Report ~ Celebrating 40 Years!  

You might have received our 2013 Annual Report in the mail. If not you won't want to miss the exciting information and illustration of our agency's 40-year journey serving Western North Carolina. Since it's our "annual report" you'll find information about our performance in 2013, as well as financial highlights from fiscal year 2013. Also, with the celebration of our 40th anniversary, you'll also find impressive statistics that span multiple years and illustrate the broad-reaching impact of our work helping people move from financial crisis to self-sufficiency and asset building. See our annual report here.

Like Us on Facebook! Follow Us on Twitter!

We've made it really easy for you to help us expand our social network connections. Take a minute and click on the icons below. OnTrack WNC staff member, Tamara Lee, is now our Communications Manager and will be posting and tweeting helpful updates, tips and news that you can share and retweet!

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter 

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April 2014 Edition

April is National Financial Literacy Month...  

to highlight the importance of financial literacy education. Over two-fifths of U.S. adults would give themselves a grade C, D or F on their knowledge of personal finance, according to a recent National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) survey. What are other trends? Click here to find out. If you are trying to ward off personal financial crisis or just looking for more information, OnTrack WNC is here to help. Check out our programs and services at www.ontrackwnc.org or call today to schedule an individual appointment or register for a class at 828-255-5166 ext.3.

Promoting Financial Literacy at Asheville High School - You Can Help! 

Mad City Money is back this month at Asheville High School and volunteer opportunities are still available for the following dates: Wednesday, April 23rd and Wednesday, April 30th from 9:30 am - 12:00 pm. No special experience is required, just a willingness to work with teenagers! Sign up by Friday, April 11th. [Click here for more]

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Shred Day - Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM 

Want to dispose of your confidential documents safely?  The Better Business Bureau (BBB), OnTrack WNC and American Security Shredding have the answer for you: the BBB "Shred Day/Secure Your ID" Day!  Bring up to 50 pounds of confidential information to the BBB's office at Executive Park - College Street parking lot in Asheville and take an important step to protect your identity. [Click here for more]

Successful Event: "Moving Forward On Your Own Workshop" 

OnTrack WNC's Women's Financial Empowerment Center presented two opportunities for our community to benefit from the wisdom and insights of Dr. Kathleen Rehl, a renowned speaker, coach and author. [Click here for more]

OnTrack WNC's Mortgage Payment Program Expands Local Information Workshops 

Good news for people in Henderson, Madison, Yancey and Macon Counties; we now have local information sessions to help people determine if they are eligible for mortgage payment assistance from the NC Foreclosure Prevention Loan Program. [Click here for more] 

Save The Date

For a list of this year's award winners or to buy tickets to the 2014 Financial Literacy Luncheon click here. You won't want to miss this year's event: morning economic seminar, awards, inspiration and a special performance by Slam Asheville Youth Brave New Voices Poets! Be sure to make your reservations by Thursday, May 1st.

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January 2014 Edition

Make a New Money Start in 2014 with an OnTrack WNC Class!

  • Dealing With Debt: Wednesday, February 5 from 12:00-1:00 p.m.
  • Transform Your Financial Wellbeing by Energizing Your Physical Wellbeing: Presented by Jacqui Friedrich CFP®, Altavista Wealth Management - Wednesday, February 12 from 5:30-7:00 p.m.
  • Planning for your Financial Future: Presented by Harli Palme CFA, CFP®, Partner at Parsec Financial - Tuesday, February 18 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Thursday, February 20 from 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Classes above are offered by the Women's Financial Empowerment Center.  All classes are listed herePre-registration required.  Call today at 255-5166.  (Read more about class content.)

Energy Efficiency Class - Tuesday, February 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Learn about affordable, simple energy upgrades that will save you money. Receive helpful energy savings tools to implement in your home right away.

Workshop Features National Expert on Widow's Financial Matters

Kathleen Rehl, PhD, CFP®, a leading authority on the subject of widows and financial planning, will be the featured speaker at a morning workshop and luncheon in Asheville on Friday, February 21, 2014. 

Ask a CPA Day Was a Great Success!   

Thanks to the Western NC Chapter of the NC Association of CPAs for a successful "Ask A CPA Day", which helped 60 people with free CPA advice, guidance, and expertise.  Special thanks to Ed Fidelman, CPA and project organizer.

View the WLOS story by clicking the first article on this page.

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2013 Financial Flash E-Newsletter Archives

2012 Financial Flash E-Newsletter Archives

2011 Financial Flash E-Newsletter Archives

2010 Financial Flash E-Newsletter Archives

2009 Financial Flash E-Newsletter Archives

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